Animal Health and Welfare: What role for Animal Nutrition?

Animal health and welfare are key dimensions of the Farm to Fork strategy (F2F), the European Commission’s pivotal agri-food policy at the heart of the EU Green Deal. High-level standards of animal health and welfare not only improve food quality, but also reduce the need for medication with antibiotics on farms and in aquaculture and contribute to preserving biodiversity.

Adequate animal nutrition combined with good hygiene practices on farms and proper housing are key in promoting and enforcing animal health and welfare. The feed sector has developed animal nutrition strategies as part of a multidisciplinary approach involving animal nutrition expertise in the design of farm health management plans. A balanced diet of compound feed supported by specialty feed ingredients meets the animal’s physiological requirements and maintains the balance of the gut flora. Gut health is in fact a key factor in keeping animals healthy and resilient to stressors, such as heat or pathogens.

How can the EU stimulate and support innovation in animal nutrition to successfully address societal demands for sustainable animal products and animal welfare? And how can the potential of the feed sector be fully exploited through better regulation?

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